Rose Renton admits smearing poison on Nick Smith

One of the people who attacked Nick Smith with rat poison has admitted doing it, but denies touching his face.

Rose Renton, alsol known as a medical cannabis campaigner, and her husband were the two who accosted Smith, who lodged a complaint with the Police.

Stuff:  Nelson protester Rose Renton explains why she rubbed rat poison on Nick Smith

A protester who rubbed rat poison on Nelson MP Nick Smith’s clothes says she was making a “symbolic statement” against the Brook Valley poison drop.

Rose Renton confronted the Environment Minister near the Nelson Market on Saturday but denies shoving him or touching his face.

Renton lives in the Brook Valley, but says she is not part of the Brook Valley Community Group, which has opposed the drop. She said she only wanted to make “a stand against the environment Mr Smith has poisoned”.

“He is the Minister of our Environment, he did not attend The Brook poisoning unlike half our police force so my husband and I went to him,” Renton said.

“It was a symbolic gesture of his support of the poison drop without the required 48 hours notice to surrounding community.”

According to Smith the incident “became quite frightening when it escalated from verbal abuse and throwing rat poison at myself and volunteers to physical shoving and rubbing rat poison over my face and clothes”.

“It was a complete violation of the wildlife and people living in the Valley. I wanted Mr Smith to see exactly what it feels like to have poison in your backyard.

“He didn’t enjoy it, he felt violated?  Well so do the people in the Brook.”

The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary want to create a predator free area for native wildlife in the Brook Valley near Nelson, along similar lines to Zealandia in Wellington.

It says the poison drop was a necessary step in creating a predator-free zone behind the fence.


Renton says she doesn’t regret what she did, and says there was no risk to Smith.

Whether there was any actual risk or not physically accosting MPs in protest over anything is crossing a line, and she should be held to account under law.



Nelson’s upcoming “Stop the Drop” environmental rally

A guest post by “Spiderman”. 

Note that guest posts are offered by Your NZ to provide different information and opinions.

Recenty weeks have seen an increase in activity of Nelson activists opposed to the planned posioning of the Brook Valley catchment by the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary. The Sanctuary plans to use approx 26 tonnes of bait laced with brodifacoum to eliminate pest species within the 715 hectare fenced off area. The plan involves the aerial delivery of the bait, with all wildlife in the Sanctuary susceptible to posioning. Brodifacoum is an anticoagulant which is used in rat posion in New Zealand, and is worse than 10-80 in terms of the suffering inflicted upon posioned animals.

The terrain of the Brook Valley catchment is rugged with the fence running along slopes of up to 50 degrees. One area of the fence was destroyed by a slip and repairing it involved cutting into the bank, increasing the possibility of further slips. Water runoff has been a problem for the fence with the swales and culverts being left open in order to avoid being blocked by silt in heavy rain.

Allegations of conflict of interest have been fuelled by the lack of transparency of the Nelson City Council, which moved deliberations about the Sanctuary to a session in which public access was restricted. Nelson’s renown environmental lawyer Sue Gray has agreed to consult with the Brook Valley Community Group in order to pursue legal means of stopping the poisioning from taking place. As part of its campaign to stop the posioning the group will be distributing flyers and holding a public march up Trafalagar Street. The group’s website has links to Facebook pages and resources for people who want to support the cause.